Furlough is coming to an end but the new job support scheme looks unlikely to prevent a major job losses. Part time jobs in the hospitality and retail sector are at particularly high risk.
Many students rely on their income from part time jobs, but demand for workers remains low and hours have reduced significantly. Many people may be jobless by Christmas.
Aya Kurdi, a university student and part time sales assistant said: “At this time of the year I usually get many shifts because it is always really busy as people are in shops getting ready for Christmas. I am now left with one shift a week.”
Kurdi added: “As a student I am really worried as I have expenses to pay for and I can’t just rely on my parents and support from student finance.”
With the current travel restrictions, many visitors from abroad have not made the trip to London for the Christmas season which has meant less business for the retail and hospitality sector.
Stephanie Hughes, a student and part time waitress said: “I work in the heart of London and sometimes it feels like a ghost town because there are no more shoppers or tourists going around.”
Hughes added: “The fall season is always one of the busiest but now I’m seeing the uncertainty of the situation we are in at the moment, I fear that I will be jobless soon.”
With many events, festivals and shows being cancelled or postponed, a lot of people who rely on temporary positions or freelancing have lost these opportunities.
Zainab Talib, a second year university student at Kingston said: “I am usually a seasonal worker and wait for events like Winter Wonderland or Christmas sales to be called in for shifts. This year I will be at home.
Talib said: “Workplaces have laid off their permanent staff so they are not prioritising seasonal temps at all, this worries me a lot as I usually make some extra money out of the busy seasons.”
Popular festive destinations like Winter Wonderland and the Christmas lights displays in central London have previously attracted millions of people but the pandemic and travel restrictions have changed things.
The impact will be felt by those who livelihoods depend on those visitors.